Academic program

The major in Japanese presents an opportunity for an in-depth and focused study of Japanese language and culture. The major places emphasis on the student's acquisition of oral and written language proficiency as well as on the development of cultural awareness and competency. The program strongly recommends that majors spend their junior year at the Associated Kyoto Program or another approved year-long study-abroad program in Japan.

Major Requirements. The major consists of a minimum of twelve courses that must include:

1) Language:
a) JPN 101–102. Beginning Japanese I and II.
JPN 201–202. Intermediate Japanese I and II.
JPN 301–302. Intermediate Japanese III and IV.

b) JPN 401. Advanced Japanese I or
JPN 402. Advanced Japanese II.


2) Literature and Culture:
a) AS/JA 125. Japanese Literature and Society.

b) Two courses from the following:
AS/HI 110. East Asia between Tradition and Modernity.
INDS 255. Female Authorship: Japanese Women Writers and Filmmakers.
With permission of the program faculty, a first-year seminar or Short Term course on Japan may be applied to the major.

Students may apply one of the following courses toward the fulfillment of this requirement:
AS/HI 172. Japanese History: From Jōmon to J-Pop.
AS/RE 209. Religions of Japan.
INDS 215. The Environmental History of Japan: Pollution, Protection, and the Public Good.
AV/AS 236. Japanese Art and Culture.
AV/AS 247. The Art of Zen Buddhism.

3) Thesis Sequence:
a) ASIA 320. Old/Young, Man/Woman: Individual and Society in East Asia.

b) JPN 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.
Students are expected to utilize some source materials in Japanese when conducting research for the thesis. Qualified students may elect to write the thesis in Japanese.

Courses Taken Abroad. Students may petition the program to have courses taken in their study-abroad program (including the Bates Fall Semester Abroad) applied toward the fulfillment of requirements (1a) and (2b).

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the Japanese major.

Advanced Placement. Students may receive credit for JPN 102 with a score of 4 on the Japanese AP examination and JPN 201 with a score of 5.

Minor. A minor requires seven courses, six of which must be in Japanese. At least one of the seven courses must involve a study of literature or culture. A student may petition to have up to three comparable courses, completed at other institutions in either the United States or abroad, applied toward the minor. Advanced Placement courses may not be applied toward the minor.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses toward the minor in Japanese.